Towards 'operating within' the field: doctoral students' views of supervisors' discipline expertise

Gube, Jan and Getenet, Seyum and Satariyan, Adnan and Muhammad, Yaar (2017) Towards 'operating within' the field: doctoral students' views of supervisors' discipline expertise. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 12. pp. 1-16. ISSN 1556-8881

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Aim/Purpose: This paper considers the role of supervisors’ discipline expertise in doctoral learning from a student perspective.

Background: Doctoral students need to develop expertise in a particular field of study. In this context, developing expertise requires doctoral students to master disciplinary knowledge, conventions and scholarship under the guidance of supervisors.

Methodology: The study draws on a mixed-method approach, using an online survey and semi-structured interviews conducted with doctoral students.

Contribution: The paper brings to the fore the role of supervisors’ discipline expertise on doctoral students’ research progress.

Findings: The survey data suggest that doctoral students nominate their supervisors on the basis of their discipline expertise. They also view supervisors’ expertise as key to the development of ‘insider’ knowledge of their doctoral research.

Recommendations for Practitioners: Supervisors play a pivotal role in helping doctoral students overcome intellectual barriers by imparting their discipline knowledge as well as balancing satisfactory doctoral completion rate and high quality student experience.

Impact on Society: Doctoral supervision equips doctoral students with the right arsenal to be able to competently operate within their field and prepares them for their future research or professional career that demands a high level of discipline expertise.

Future Research: The scope of the findings leaves open a discussion about the experiences of doctoral students matched with non-discipline expert supervisory teams; for example, the extent of the mismatch and its ramifications.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: (CC BY-NC 4.0) This article is licensed it to you under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. When you copy and redistribute this paper in full or in part, you need to provide proper attribution to it to ensure that others can later locate this work (and to ensure that others do not accuse you of plagiarism). You may (and we encourage you to) adapt, remix, transform, and build upon the material for any non-commercial purposes. This license does not permit you to use this material for commercial purposes.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2017 02:38
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2018 05:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: doctoral students; supervisors; discipline
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development

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